How to Fix the Most Common Water Heater Issues

Think your water heater is indestructible? It’s not. Like any other machine, it can break down. Gas water heaters, electric water heaters, tankless heaters – every type of water heater can suffer from a hot water heater problem.

Common water heater problems include not enough hot water, hot water that smells like rotten eggs, low hot water pressure, sediment build up, a bad gas valve, tank corrosion, calcium deposits, and more. These issues can cause dirty water, a failure to adequately heat your water, and even higher utility bills.

Williams Comfort Air is a professional plumber in the Central Indiana area. Our team is here to help you combat issues with water heaters, both gas models and electric models. Here are the most common water heater problems as well as tips on how to fix your malfunctioning water heater. If you notice a hot water heater problem at home, you can always call a plumber on our team for water heater repair services.

Cold Water

One of the most common causes of cold water from a water heater is a tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse. If you suspect that this may be the case, the first thing you should do is reset the circuit breaker or replace the fuse. Check all external power switches and set them in the ON position.

Once you have eliminated power as a possible culprit, the next step is to check the thermostat. If it is not receiving power, it may be the cause of your cold water. A faulty thermostat can be replaced by your plumber.

Finally, check the heating elements to see if they are faulty. If the heating element isn’t working, find the reset button. It’s usually located near the heating elements. To reset it, just press the button. If the heating element does not restart, you may need to replace it.

Are you having problems with your gas water heater? If the unit isn’t producing hot water, there are a few other things you can check. First, make sure that you have gas flow and that the pilot light is on. If the pilot light is out, you’ll need to relight it. Once the pilot light is on, the next step is to check the thermocouple. The thermocouple is responsible for sensing whether or not the pilot light is on, and if it isn’t working correctly, it won’t allow gas to flow to the unit. In most cases, the thermocouple just needs to be cleaned or replaced.

If you find that your gas tankless heater isn’t providing hot water, the first thing to check is the gas valve. Make sure that it’s turned on all the way. If it is, then the next thing to check are the intake and exhaust vents. These need to be clear so that the heater can function properly. Inspect them from the exterior of your home and look for things like bird nests or insect nests that could be blocking the vent. Also, look for any damage to the vents themselves. Once you’ve removed any obstructions and made repairs, your heater should start working again.

Lukewarm Water

If you’ve ever taken a shower only to have the water turn cold halfway through, you know how frustrating it can be. There are a few different reasons why your water might not be getting hot enough. One possibility is that your water heater is undersized. If your home has multiple bathrooms and you’re running two or three showers at once, the demand for hot water could exceed your water heater’s capacity. Another potential cause is a crossed hot and cold connection. This happens when the hot and cold water lines get mixed up, so the cold water is being routed to the hot side of the faucet (and vice versa). You can check for this problem by turning off the water supply and turning on a hot water faucet; if the water still flows, you could have a crossed connection. Finally, another possible explanation is a faulty heating element or thermostat. If your water heater isn’t producing any heat at all, it’s likely due to a problem with one of these components. Fortunately, these problems can usually be repaired relatively easily by a qualified technician.

Water Is Too Hot

If you’ve noticed that your water heater is running a little too hot, there’s a good chance that the thermostat is set too high. Fortunately, this is an easy problem to fix. Simply consult your water heater’s owners manual for instructions on how to adjust the thermostat. As a general rule, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends a setting of 120° F for the best balance of heat and efficiency. By taking this simple step, you can help ensure that your water heater runs at its optimal temperature.

Leaks at the Top of the Water Tank

When you find a water leak, it’s important to take care of it right away. Otherwise, it could cause serious damage to your home. A water leak at the top of your water heater is likely coming from one of the two pipes located on the top of the tank. These pipes play an important role in delivering water to your home. They work by bringing water into the tank to be heated and then send hot water out. Without these pipes, you wouldn’t have access to hot water in your home. Try tightening the fittings to see if that fixes the problem. If not, you may need to replace the pipes, so call a plumber for help.

Leaks at the Side of the Tank

You may have noticed water leaking from your temperature and pressure relief valve on the side of the water tank. This is usually caused by too much pressure in the water tank. The first thing you should do is check the water heater’s thermostat temperature setting and lower the water temperature to 120 degrees.

If the leak persists, the pressure relief valve needs to be replaced. The pressure relief valve is an important safety feature that releases water if the pressure in the tank gets too high. By releasing pressure, it prevents the tank from exploding. So, if you notice a leak, don’t ignore it.

Leaks at the Bottom of the Water Tank

If you see water leaking from the bottom of your water heater, it’s important to take action immediately. The first step is to check the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. Make sure that it is completely closed. If the drain valve is still leaking even though it is fully closed, the valve itself may be loose. Tighten drain valve slightly, but don’t overtighten it as this can worsen leaks. If leaks persist, replace the drain valve.

Leaks around the base of your water heater can be caused by a number of factors, but one of the most common is a corroded tank. Unfortunately, simply repairing the leaks is not possible. If your water heater tank is corroded, you will need to replace it entirely.

Rust Colored Water

Have you ever noticed that your hot water has a rusty tint to it? This is usually a sign of corrosion, and it can cause your water heater to stop working properly. If you don’t treat the problem, the corrosion will eventually lead to a leak in the tank. Replacing the anode rod is an easy way to extend the life of your water heater. And if the tank is already showing signs of corrosion, it’s only a matter of time before a leak develops.

Smelly Water

Have you ever gone to take a shower, only to be greeted by a foul odor coming from the hot water faucet? If so, you’re not alone. This is a problem that plagues many homeowners, and it can be due to bacteria in the tank. While homes which use well water as their water source are more susceptible to their water giving off a foul odor, any home can experience this issue.

A quick way to stop water smells is to turn up the water temperature. This will kill the bacteria, but the odor will likely return once you lower the temperature again and the water cools back down. Flushing the water tank through regular maintenance can help control water smells, but the return of smelly water usually means the anode rod needs to be replaced.

Low Water Pressure

Over time, sediment and mineral deposits can build up in your water heater and hot water pipes, leading to clogs and low water pressure. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to flush your water heater on a regular basis. This will help to remove any sediment that has accumulated. Tankless heaters should also be flushed regularly to prevent deposits from forming.

Tankless water heaters should be flushed every six months, while tank water heaters should be flushed at least once a year. If you have not been regularly flushing your tank water heater, it is important to consult a professional before attempting to do so. Otherwise, you risk damaging the unit and requiring a new water heater installation.

Schedule Water Heater Repair Today

If you are experiencing any of these common water heater issues, don’t hesitate to call us. Our experienced technicians can help diagnose the problem and provide a solution that will have your water heater up and running in no time. We know how important it is to maintain reliable hot water service, so we offer emergency water heater repair services to get you back up and running as soon as possible. Schedule your appointment today!

Related Reading